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Thursday, Jan 24, 2002

a taxing situation

"If the politics of the issue no longer crudely favors Republicans, it may be for a straightforward reason: Democrats have changed. Well into the 1980s, it was not a grotesque distortion to accuse the party of wanting to "tax and spend." Many Democrats frankly advocated higher taxes to pay for a substantially larger federal government than most Republicans wanted. But during the Clinton years, Democrats shifted to become the party of fiscal responsibility. Today, the essential difference between Democrats and Republicans on fiscal matters lies not in how big the federal government should be—the 2002 budget bills Bush signed increased spending 13 percent and early indications are that his 2003 budget will ask for more huge increases. The main difference is that Democrats want to pay for all the government they want, while Republicans don't."